Zombie Prisons

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Transcribed from the 2 August 2014 episode of This is Hell! Radio and printed with permission. Edited for space and readability. Listen to the whole interview:

 

“We’re going to see the rise of a mass detention and deportation system [for immigrants] that will very much rival mass incarceration, and could actually grow as mass incarceration shrinks.”

Chuck Mertz: Live from Berkeley, Jonathan Simon is author of Mass Incarceration on Trial: A Remarkable Court Decision and the Future of Prisons in America. Good morning, Jonathan.

Jonathan Simon: Morning, Chuck.

CM: You write, “Like a biblical flood, the age of mass incarceration is finally ebbing. After forty years, not forty days, a once-unstoppable tide of harsh sentencing laws, aggressive prosecution policies, and diminished opportunities for parole seems to be subsiding.”

Forty years is two whole generations of human beings. What do you think the cultural legacy of that mass incarceration is, or will be?

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Counterinsurgency in America

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Transcribed from This is Hell! Radio’s 6 September 2014 episode and printed with permission. Edited for space and readability. Listen to the whole interview:

 

“We face a state that treats black people as if we are about to rise up in an insurgency at any moment. They preemptively police us as if we are an insurgency.”

Chuck Mertz: Live with us right now, executive editor of the Black Agenda Report, Glen Ford. Good morning, Glen.

Glen Ford: Good morning. Good to be here.

CM: Isn’t it great, this post-racial America? It looks great in Ferguson, Missouri!

GF: Oh, I’m just aglow. I’m bathed in it. Aren’t we all?

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Confluences

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As hard as it is to look on the bright side at the moment, we must acknowledge intriguing connections currently being made between disparate and distant movements. Our task now is to make these confluences of action and intent—this growing solidarity across ideological and geographical chasms—much more concrete, combative, and contagious.

By Antidote’s Ed Sutton

By nearly any account, it has been a devastating summer, and a tough year all around.

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Under Occupation in America

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Transcribed from This is Hell! Radio’s 24 May 2014 episode and printed with permission. Listen to the full interview:

 “When you’re a target of the police, you want to be an unpredictable person. You don’t want to show up routinely anywhere. You don’t want to go to the hospital when you’ve been injured or when your baby is born. You don’t want to go to your mother’s house on Christmas. Who knows who will be there to take you into custody?”

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The Greatest Privilege of All

by AntiDote’s Ed Sutton

My good friend and comrade in the AntiDote Writers Collective, Laurent Moeri, has recently written a very moving series of portraits; short vignettes about the deaths of children and young people at the hands of authorities. It is called Berkin Elvan Lebt (“Berkin Elvan Lives;” the full English version is now available here).

But Berkin Elvan is dead. Continue Reading